Tag: film adaptations

Coming Back To Twilight

I was a massive fan of Twilight; the books and movies still holds a place in my heart. I thought it be best to talk about this because the very first book was published on October 5, 2005.

 

Image Via IMDb

 

When I was younger I was obsessed with these books and I felt they could do nothing wrong but as I got older, I realized Twilight might not have been as good as I remember. My aunt had all of the books and she let me borrow them to read. I finished them so quickly, it kinda felt like a fever dream. I knew what the story was about, I fell in love (however very misguided) with Edward and liked how different the books felt to me.

From a young age I was into pretty macabre things. Like anything Tim Burton or Tim Burton-esque; basically anything considered to be weird. And that bleed into my reading.  Anything that involved, vampires, werewolves, witches, I read and Twilight felt more adult in a sense. I suppose it felt that way because I was entering high school and consumed every piece of Twilight media throughout that time.

As an actual adult now, looking back at it, Twilight is pretty problematic. And a lot of the problems come from the characters themselves.

Edward Cullen, as we all know is Bella’s main love interest. He’s brooding, aloof, a hundred and something year old  handsome vampire. So of course, he immediately is interesting to Bella. But he’s so closed off because of what he is and her blood calls to him so they can’t be friends. But he throws that away and wants to be with her because she’s not like other girls and he can’t read her mind.

His “over-protectiveness” comes across as completely controlling. And the excuse that he just wanted to protect her, takes away Bella’s agency as a character. Like she needed to be baby sat just because she was clumsy. Even before they started dating, Edward sneaks into her room and watches her sleep. One, that is very stalkerish behavior and he’s a commenting a crime, breaking into her house every night. How I found that romantic I can’t even tell you.

 

 

Jacob Black, the werewolf and her best friend, forcibly kisses her even though she has blatantly said that she wants Edward, NOT him. She punches him and because of his werewolf strength she hurts her hand on his face, which in a way punishes Bella for standing up for herself. And her father who is the chief of the police does nothing when he finds out this situation.

Jake like, Edward is horribly overbearing and tries to tell Bella what she should be doing or who she should be with. It’s extremely childish and again gives Bella, no character of her own.

And speaking of Bella’s character, she is so boring. Yes she was just a human in between vampires and werewolves but she could have had a hobby or something. She has a job which is great but we don’t get to see her do a lot outside of the love triangle. When Edward leaves, Bella is basically a zombie then when Jake rejects her friendship after changing into a full fledged werewolf, again for her own protection, nothing happens.

In a way to give her character what she wants more than anything is to get Edward to change her so she could stay with him forever and then to have their first time together. Okay? There’s nothing wrong with that but those are the biggest wants she has when the story is supposed to be centered around her. Up until she gets pregnant and her husband wants to get rid of their child. There is nothing that she wants for herself.

After she gets out of her depressed state, her goals should shift into figuring out how to navigate the world single again. She shouldn’t rebound with Jacob. She should try her best at school and try to hang out with her human friends. We needed more instances of her trying but instead she throws herself head first into her friendship with Jake which then starts to define her like her relationship with Edward did. It’s like once she learns about vampires and werewolves she becomes above her humanity. Her life isn’t horrible, far from it. And is she really ready to leave behind her family and friends? Because it seemed so easy to do so. She’s always ready to throw her humanity away for him.

Jacob stands as an opposition to that, he wants Bella to live a normal human life but with him, that’s the catch. She can still be human, go to college, live normally but with him. Do you see why picking either Team Edward or Team Jacob is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place? And Jacob is supposed to imprint which was basically him finding his soulmate but Bella isn’t that. So just be together until you eventually break her heart? Great plan.

 

 

This has been a sad trend in literature pushed to teens and young adults even to younger girls. The likes of The Kissing Booth and After which are much more recent, show how the main female character lets their relationship define them. After is a little better, I will admit but it still falls victim. They put up with unexceptable behavior and just because their love interest might be bad but has a heart of gold underneath and only the main characters love can change them, its fine.

 

Image Via Amazon.com

 

Image Via Cosmopolitan 

 

It’s as if all of these stories are trying to recreate Beauty and The Beast but completely misses the point. Belle, doesn’t change the Beast. He grows and changes on his own. When she makes it clear that she isn’t down with his behavior, he has to learn how to be human again. Sure at first it’s just to woo her because she can possibly be the one to break the spell, but he genuinely learns to respect her space, who she is and wants to gain her friendship and eventually doesn’t care of she is romantically interested in him. He enjoys her company and Belle sees all of his progress and falls for him because of it. Not because of PLOT but because you can see them organically develop feelings for each other.

 

Bella, Elle (The Kissing Booth) and Tessa (After) have magical ‘you’re not like other girls’ powers and put up with Edward, Noah and Hardin respectively even though they aren’t even close to being good boyfriends or husband.  Again, Edward is controlling and can be violent. Noah is controlling, a womanizer and literally starts like three fights. Hardin starts dating Tessa because of a bet, lacks any type of emotional control and smooths everything with a dumb class assignment.

Now, I know that all of these characters are teenagers and in Tessa’s case a freshman in college, so they are young women. Not every choice made to stay in a relationship or things they have let slide in said relationship is the smartest choice. Because as young people we are still learning and growing but it inexcusable to keep getting books like this marketed to women. Not men but women. It trains young women into thinking this way, that it’s okay to put up with this behavior and that it is completely on the women to do the emotional work in the relationship while the men can do what ever they want.

And its kind of a shame because all of these books were written by women.

I know this started about Twilight but I got on a  roll and had to get this off of my chest. But Happy Birthday, Twilight, you will always be remembered whether for good or bad.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Youtube

The Academy Ensures Diversity with Gemma Chan, Gillian Flynn, Winston Duke and Letitia Wright Among New Inductees

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its list of invitees for 2019. The list seems more women and people of color included than ever before, many of them tied to recent book adaptations.

After the “Oscars So White” controversy of 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is stepping up and becoming more inclusive by inviting more women and people of color. Finally they are paying respect to some incredibly talented people in the film industry, many of whom have been ignored for years.

 

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Image via azatty

 

The official release opens up with the statistical difference this year’s new members make. “The 2019 class is 50% women, 29% people of color, and represents 59 countries.” Looking through the list you’ll notice a number of these invitees were a part of the two most talked about adaptations of 2018 – Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, two films that were praised not only as fantastic films and adaptations but also for the impact they have on an industry that has been so lacking in diversity.

 

 

Crazy Rich Asians helped actress Gemma Chan attained an invite, as well as director Jonathan M. Chu

 

Actress Gemma Chan | Image via NY Post

 

Sterling K. Brown, Winston Duke, and Letitia Wright from Black Panther earned invites of their own, along with make-up artist Tym Shutchai Buacharern, and visual effects artist Jessica Harris.

 

Sterling K. Brown | Image via Hollywood Reporter

 

Many more have been included, such as actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad) and cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw (The Sun Is Also A Star), and author of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn.

 

Gillian Flynn | Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau

 

 

 

With so many other amazing novels and series out there just waiting to be adapted for the big screen, more roles and opportunities for women and people of color are sure to be created!

 

Hip-Hop Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet to Be Produced by Queen Latifah and Will Smith

Imagine a crowded arena filled with fans of hip-hop music. They await the arrival of some illustrious artist such as the Fresh Prince, DJ Jazzy Jeff, or Queen Latifah; but then, a scrawny emo kid takes the stage—it’s Romeo of house Montague. The beat drops…

In Northeastern Italy born and raised

Pining over love interests is how I spend most of my days

Stressin’ out cryin’ (eventually) dyin’ all cool

Reading some poetry outside of the school

When a couple of families that were up to no good

Started making trouble in my neighborhood

I stirred up one little feud and my mom got scared

She said ‘You’re gonna end up dying with that Capulet girl by the end of this play’

 

Image Via Rebloggy.com

 

No? Yeah, that was bad. What won’t be is the recently announced a hip hop musical adaptation of the William Shakespeare tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Not taking place in West Philadelphia or  Northeastern Italy in the 14th century, this new take will feature a different and more contemporary setting. It is being described as “a contemporary, musical take on Romeo and Juliet set against the urban rhythms of New York. The love story follows a young waitress from the streets of Brooklyn and an aspiring musician from a wealthy family whose unconventional romance forces them to confront their life choices.”

 

This news comes via Variety which also reports that the project will be directed and written by Solvan “Slick” Naim—a much better rapper than I will ever be. The Algerian-American writer, director, and rapper hails from Bushwick, Brooklyn; Naim already has a comedy series on Netflix entitled “It’s Bruno” which premiered today. He will pen the script for the untitled R&J project with Dave Broome for everyone’s favorite streaming powerhouse.

 

Image Via Hollywoodreporter.com

 

Producing the film will be the Fresh Prince himself, William Smith along with Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere (Flavor Unit Entertainment), James Lassiter, and Caleeb Pinkett (Overbrook Entertainment).

 

Featured Image Via Billboard.com

‘Black Widow’ Solo Film Finally Kicks Off!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (a.k.a. MCU) film fans have been clamoring for is finally starting to go into development stages. It’ll be a while before we get an air date, but here is everything we know now.

 

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Image via We Hear It

 

The Cast: Who’s In Talks and Who’s Rumored

 

In a recent article from Variety, Oscar nominated actress Rachel Weisz, from the biggest film of last year, The Favorite, is said to be in negotiations with Marvel to play as Scarlett Johansson’s co-star in the film.

 

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Actress Rachel Weisz | Image via IMDb

 

A couple of other actors hoping to join the MCU cast are Stranger Things actor David Harbour and Little Drummer Girl actress Florence Pugh.

 

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 Actress Florence Pugh | Image via IMDb
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          Actor David Harbour | Image via IMDb                   

 

 

There have also been rumors of Emma Watson joining the cast!

 

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Actress Emma Watson | Image via IMDb

 

Although fans, myself included, would love to Watson in a Black Widow role, there has not been much word of Watson in any negotiations since the rumors started about a month ago. Many articles have been written about Marvel wanting the famed actress in their film, but to our dismay, nothing has been reported since.

 

 

The Filmmakers On-Board

 

According to an exclusive with The Hollywood Reporter, after meeting with over seventy directors, Marvel has chosen Cate Shortland to direct the Black Widow film. The film and television writer and director had help from the star of the film herself, Scarlet Johansson.

 

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Writer and Director Cate Shortland | Image via IMDb

 

Shortland, who does not have agency representation, had a fan in Johansson, who pushed for the helmer. The actress admired Shortland’s handling of the female lead in Lore, a critically acclaimed 2012 drama that tells of a young woman who leads her siblings through Germany as the Allied forces roll in.

-The Hollywood Reporter, 2019

 

In addition to the Cate Shortland becoming the director, screenwriter Jac Shaeffer has already written the first draft of the Black Widow screenplay. According to the MCU Wiki, Shaeffer also worked on the screenplay for the recent Captain Marvel film, so adapting Marvel characters and storylines is already under her belt.

 

Screenwriter Jac Shaeffer | Image via MCU Wiki/Fandom

 

Saving the best for last, there have also been rumors about the movie’s plot.

 

Jeremy Conrad, blogger on everything Marvel, heard from a very reliable source that we may see the rise of a young Natasha Romanov during the Y2K crisis of the late 90s. Condrad posted this on his blog MCU Cosmic

 

According to the rumor, the Y2K bug on December 31, 1999 will play some part in the plot of Black Widow. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it was confirmed that Natasha Romanoff was born in 1984; so that would make her 16 at the time of Y2K. Based that age and on the flashbacks in Avengers: Age of Ultron, that would place her still under the control of the Red Room and likely not with S.H.I.E.L.D..

-Jeremy Conrad, MCU Cosmic Exclusive

 

Conrad does stress that it is possible that this could be a rumor, or at the very least only a part of the main plot to the film’s story.

Rumors and theories aside, with how successful Marvel has been with their films, alongside the incredible talent that are already starting to join forces, I think Black Widow is going to at last have the spotlight she deserves!

At the very least, I highly doubt it’ll be anything like the SNL skit thankfully.

 

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Image via Giphy

 

No Ultron. Just no.

 

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Image via Tumblr

 

Featured Image via Revenge of the Fans

Olivia Cooke Will Star In Sci-Fi Romance “Little Fish” Adaptation

Olivia Cooke stole the show in Ready Player One. Jack O’Connell won our hearts with his performance in Unbroken. Now, these two actors are teaming up for an exciting new adaptation that you’ll be sure to remember for decades to come… even if its protagonists end up remembering nothing at all. (You’ll just have to wait and see!)

 

Images Via IMDb

 

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Cooke and O’Connell will star in Little Fish. The film is based off of Aja Gabel’s short story of the same name, an ambitious, speculative romance that tells the story of a couple struggling to stay together in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. And here’s where the speculative fiction comes in: the pandemic erases people’s memories, “Little Fish” was initially published in the literary magazine Phoebe. You can read a small excerpt of the story on Gabel’s website to get hyped for the film.

Though there is no word yet on a release date for the film beyond a general estimate (2020), other details are available: the film will be directed by Chad Hartigan and written by Mattson Tomlin. In addition to her starring role, Olivia Cooke is also among the many executive producers of the film. While we don’t yet know which roles these actors will play, Raul Castillo and Soko have also been cast in the adaptation.

Fortunately, shooting will begin later this month, so we don’t have to wait too long!

 

 

Featured Image Via Bustle